I tried to look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Function_(mathematics) but couldn't see anything.

The reason why I was curious to ask is because this word just doesn't make any sense for what it does.

If we were to reinvent all the words that don't make sense, and they become normal in a given culture, communication would be far more efficient and clear.

I'm sure that the linguists has plenty of examples (which they've already given examples for) of the structure of words just not making any sense.

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    Please do not cross-post on multiple SE sites. – StoneyB on hiatus Jun 18 '17 at 12:07
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    The meaning of a word lies in what people use and understand it to mean and nowhere else (and that can change over time). Its etymology may be interesting, but tells you absolutely nothing reliable about its meaning. See etymological fallacy](en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymological_fallacy) – Colin Fine Jun 18 '17 at 17:45
  • so you're saying a word makes sense to one person so long as the user uses the word in that sense? like 'dlkfveje' can be used with the meaning of function and it would make sense? even though the structure of the letters do not make any sense? just like the structure of the letter in function do not make any sense @ColinFine – ambw Jun 18 '17 at 20:45
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    @ambw yes, it's exactly so. The more so in mathematics. And physics, for example. Are the quarks really "charming", "beautiful" and so on? – Artemij Keidan Jun 18 '17 at 21:03
  • For example, the number pi has nothing to do with the Greek letter that is used as its name – Artemij Keidan Jun 18 '17 at 21:07

Function derives from the Latin fungi meaning to perform or execute (source: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=function ), and from a mathematical perspective (disclaimer: I'm a mathematician) this makes perfect sense. A function is something that performs an operation or sequence of operations to obtain a result from an input. So I would disagree that that the word "just doesn't make any sense for what it does".

In English at least it's usually fairly easy to trace words back to their origins and understand how they obtained the meaning they did today as there are excellent reference sources for just that. Learning how to use them well might be tricky though. Reinventing all words that "don't make sense[1]" is probably more effort than just throwing them away though: you might want to look Newspeak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak ) to see where that could lead.

[1] I disagree here as well I'm afraid: a word with a meaning, by definition, makes sense.

  • the structure of the letters for this and many words do not make any sense, why was it named 'function'? -- it was first used to designate a geometric object associated with a curve, im going to have to ask a semantics question because this clearly doesn't make any sense – ambw Jun 18 '17 at 20:51
  • @postmortes concerning your last statement on words with meanings: it's fine in maths, but does not work in the ordinarily language quite often. In many occasions we don't really get the exact meaning of some other's words. Then we ask them to reformulate and eventually reach an agreement on the intended meaning. But it's not as automatic as we would like it to be. The whole philosophy of language was not able to solve this issue. – Artemij Keidan Jun 18 '17 at 21:25
  • yea language is highly highly limited and everyone in this lifetime should understand this basic thing about language by now, we're in 2017 already.. ppl didnt spent their entire life so we can learn nothing -- wittgenstein youtube.com/watch?v=hEPcQ6sIOTY – ambw Jun 18 '17 at 21:43
  • @ArtemijKeidan but a word with multiple meanings still makes sense, even if it requires disambiguation. (For that matter a word with only one meaning can require disambiguation: take replying to a negative question in English, where saying either "Yes" or "No" almost always requires a follow-up disambiguation.) I agree it's not as easy as mathematics where the disambiguation is deliberately excluded. – postmortes Jun 19 '17 at 4:49
  • @ambw can you give an example of how languge is "highly highly limited" please? As I can't think of anything that I can think of that can't be expressed by language, which would seem to be the opposite of your claim. – postmortes Jun 19 '17 at 4:49

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